Utah’s history of voter turnout has been in decline since the Bicentennial in 1976, when we peaked with a 70% turnout. We sadly ranked 39th place for voter turnout at the last election. That’s over 30 years of declining attendance. And 62% of unregistered voters hadn’t even been asked to vote.
Over time, Utahns that had registered had become convinced their vote wouldn’t make a difference in the outcome of the election. Utah wasn’t a battleground state. We had to find a way to stir people out of some pretty heavy anti-momentum. The voters needed a reason to rally.
We poured over research about the psychology of voting, looking for a motivator that led to a change in behavior. We decided to combine two insights: 1. Societal pressure activates voters. 2. The act of voting is an expression of who I am as an individual.
Rev Up Utah enlisted a truly diverse cast of patriotic characters, from a crying bald eagle, to an exploding apple pie, a disappointed Abraham Lincoln and a bison-riding cowboy, all warning people not to let Utah down by failing to vote.
The campaign rolled out with a three-phase content plan, asking Uthans to register, get educated and vote.
Not only did we need to say the right message, to get new people to sign up for open enrollment, we had to say it in the right place.